We are planning to put an artical in our Tenant's newsletter that we will be posting out in March to give them some practical advice about getting ready for the introduction of the new universal credit system. The things I think it should cover include:
I was wondering if anyone could think of any other bits of practical advice that we should be offering our tenants at this point.
Being completely partisan, I would ensure that there was plenty of signposting to local UK online centres that can help them learn the basics of the internet if they don't have the confidence or skills yet. Our main site has a centre search facility that can point them to a centre near them - www.ukonlinecentres.com
Apart from that I think it looks pretty comprehensive. Probably not a good idea to bombard them with too much information too soon IMO...
Hope it goes well.
I would not restrict provision of recycled computers to just the big national programme. Locally here in Cambs, I found before the scheme started that a number of suppliers of refurbished computers sold PCs comparably or favourably priced with these discounted PCs. I think you may find some people will always prefer to be able to go to a shop to buy a PC and so local provision can be useful.
While they tend not to come with Windows 7, like the official scheme PCs, I'm not convinced that Windows 7 is much of a boon on an old recycled PCs anyway if my sluggish netbook is anything to go by. Despite all the hype about W7 running much better than Vista, I think that is more about new PC specs catching up generally. Even tweaked quite extensively, my current netbook with a better spec doesn't run nearly as well as my previous XP netbook and is quite frustrating by comparison.
Not for publication in your leaflet at this stage, but I will be keeping a close eye or smartphone and related tablet technology as possible pathways for many people (anyone want to bet against a directgov benefits claim app?). With Android enabled phones available on cheap monthly tariffs and from as little as £50 on PAYG, I suspect smartphones will be quite ubiquitous within a few years. Potentially there will be a significant number of people who don't want to use a PC, or don't have access to one, who will be comfortable with their phone.
Not that I think PCs are irrelevant - despite the futurologists' (and my apparent) conclusion that the PC is dead long live the smartphone, PC skills will continue to be important for employability for the forseeable future, both in having marketable skills and in assisting with a jobhunt. I for one would not want to have to write or edit my CV on a phone, though it might easily serve for emailing it!
I for one would not want to have to write or edit my CV on a phone, though it might easily serve for emailing it!>> - Don't go just yet, you've only just arrived! 8-)
As well as UK Online Centres for expert advice, also address tenants who are online - suggest they be a Digital Champion and help offline friends and neighbours to get online for the first time (signpost to low cost kit, training, inspiration, wider benefits of being online (cash savings, lowered isolation, education benefit, more employable, etc...)? May as well try and tap into the expert amateurs you already have living in your housing!